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  CSPAN    Politics Public Policy Today    News/Business.  

    February 5, 2013
    1:00 - 6:00am EST  

>> hello! it is so good to be here. alright. anytime i get introduced to bruce springsteen, i get really pumped up as a jersey boy. i began my sixth year coming down to new jersey and join with others to get things done. i will never forget a train ride i had. by the way, i am the worst person on the world to sit next to on a train or plane. i will talk your ear off. i sat down next to a rabbi. when the rabbi talk about what i was doing, i said i was mayor of a city of newark. he said, i want to talk to you about the city of jerusalem. i thought we would talk about current events and foreign policy. he said, i want to talk to about the city of jerusalem in the year 66. he said, the year 66, titus and the romans laid siege to the city of jerusalem.
the city of jerusalem would not relent. years and years passed by. finally, up one person told him that if you want to take the city, you need to wait and be patient. inside the city, there is a problem. that problem will grow into a cancer and that cancer will eat away the very core of that community. if you know your history, what happened around the year 70 is the divisions within the city of jerusalem amongst the zealots and others became so significant that it weakened the city from inside. the rabbi told me that the city of jerusalem was taken in the year 70 by titus. he looked at me for a long time and i looked at him. he said, what is the moral of the story? i said, make sure there are no zealots in newark.
[laughter] he said no. he said, the moral of this story is that if there is no enemy within, the enemy without tim do you know arm. he started growth -- going through all the roman empires. i said, you've got to be closer to the present. he said that the nation was divided, became weak, and was taken over. they kept marching through history until the current day and got to me in newark. he said, i do not know what your policy is or your ideas are, but if you can bring your city together all around practical, pragmatic ideas to solve real problems, then you will be successful. the rabbi's vision became so true, in fact, i found out a truism from me. you can bring people together who do not normally come together to do things that others do not normally do.
you will get results that people do not normally get. in fact, this is a truth that goes to the bedrock of who we are as a nation. this nation brought people together who did not usually come together. we were not bounded in a common race or religion. we are not a theocracy. we are not a minority. this nation was born with the ideals that a united people, but these ideals compel every generation to be more inclusive and welcoming. we realize this country was not a zero some political nation. in fact, the more we open up this country to inclusion, the better we are. women joining the work force has not diminished men. it expands our economy and opportunity for all. the education of poor people in the inner-city does not take away from others, it expands our economy and makes us all do better.
this is the ideal of our country. as the rabbi would tell me, the jewish saying, that jews together are strong, but jews with other people are invincible. he african saying that spiderwebs united can tie up a line. the very principle of this country, one of my advisers told me one of the fundamental principles of islam. the oneness of the community. we recognize dependency and see strength. that became the problem solving idea that i took on. i began looking at what other cities around america were doing. i came over to mayor bloomberg, who i called the obi-wan kenobi of mayors. all of us young padawans come to see what is going on over here.
i could not wait to talk about climate change. the time is now. we just focus on cities where the carbon output is significant. if we do pragmatic things, we are going to make change. he started showing me programs he had that created jobs, including the health of cities like mine that has exit -- epidemic asthma rates. i went to seattle and saw a bunch of people coming together around homelessness but with an idea of pragmatism that everyone can benefit. they did eight circle study and look at 23 people and the health care cost to taxpayers.
they were on the streets and they found that when they put them into supportive housing, they saved emergency room costs alone, $1 million, saving taxpayer money and empowering people to be contributors. i found this out. i realize i could talk to republicans across the aisle and say the biggest, most wasteful government in america is the criminal justice system. i said, look at our prison populations. is there a way that we can work together? i went over and started talking with the manhattan institute. i was criticized for engaging with them. they join with me and said, let's figure out a way to have win-wins across the table. before you know it, the manhattan institute was working with grassroots activists who could not say the word republican without having a physical compulsion -- convulsion. we funded a program called the father heard program. it takes men coming out of prison and at rallies them around a vision greater than any
individual. to produce an army of incredible dads. with partner them with mentors, gave them parenting glasses, got them together with the mothers of their children. now we see that 65% recidivism rates for people coming from prison, we have lowered that to about 7%. [applause] and this program alone has saved taxpayers in the city of new jersey -- in the state of new jersey millions of dollars. it came from a bipartisan coalition. understanding that is true in america that no side, no person, no religion, no race has a monopoly on the truth. [applause]
that we need each other. indeed, we have a declaration of independence in this country. as you look deeper into the spiritual truth of america, every generation has put forth a declaration of interdependence. it is called to realize that the truth of our country, what we did settling this nation, what we have done in combating slavery and racism, what we have done to create an open society is echoing the history of our nation. if you want to go fast, and go alone. if you want to go far, go together. [applause] here we are at a perilous point in our nation. we are not the city of jerusalem, but that holy city
offers us the construction. we have challenges that threaten the very longevity and endurance of our country. the enemy is at the gates. the challenges of the future could cripple us, undermine us. we could go the way of other great civilizations. but i know that will not happen. i have a deep and abiding faith in america. i know that will not happen because there is a reservoir of strength and persistence allen love and determination. i know that will not happen because america is full of people who understand the principles of those who came before us, that echo in their hearts with the words of martin luther king from a prison cell in april of 1963, when he penned those words, "we are all caught in an inescapable network of individually, tied in a common garment of destiny. we will survive and thrive because we know that we can deal with the true enemy in our midst, which will be always our inability to come together as a
people." that is the story of our founding which echoes within our documents, that exists in the pledged that children say, that say we are one nation under god, indivisible. the preamble to our constitution starts with "we, the people of the united states of america." it is this ideal the cause to this organization now. we all have a choice we make every single day over and over. every american citizen has this choice to make every single moment of their life.
it is a simple choice. will i just accept things as they are or will i take responsibility for changing them? no labels calls upon us not to surrender to the pervasive culture about our politics, not to say that it is just the people in washington and there is nothing we can do. that is a cancer. citizens have weakened the moral soul of our country, the death and the fiber of our being.-- cynicism. we're not people who suffer to cynicism. we did not surrender to slavery, jim crow, sexism. we always said, i will take responsibility. nation after nation, generation after generation took responsibility to change what was wrong with this country.
this year and now, as the threats continue, we have to take responsibility to say, we will take back control of our politics, we will move towards pragmatism, we will answer the call of this generation because every generation has a challenge and a call. we must answer it. we may not be called on beaches in normandy. we may not be called on buses through freedom rides through the south. we may not all explore the death and reaches of space, -- the depth and reaches of space, but we can make it a more perfect union our way. tonight, i feel this energy and hope. when i began in new york, my metaphor was i was a prisoner of hope. the challenges looked so great. every month, my staff would come in with a new problem that we did not realize was there. i wouldn't look at them and say, i am a prisoner of hope. [laughter]
seven years as the mayor of the city of newark, where we have ushered in our biggest development in our economy, for the first time in 60 years, our population has grown and is not declining, i have changed my metaphor. this nation has taught me that i need not be a prisoner of hope. the possibilities in this country, the promise of people coming together, has changed my metaphor. my experience in my great city has changed my metaphor. now i am hopeful unhinged. there is nothing we cannot do. [applause] i end with a question that has been asked since the war of 1812, when a man standing off the coast of our country watching bombs bursting in air penned these words that form a question that we must answer in this generation, that we must
rise and tell the truth of who we are in response to the call of our nation's national anthem, which is very simple. "oh say, can you see" a country that does not descend into discord and disunion but rises with a chorus of conviction, the passion, the pragmatism, the persistence, the problem solving? can you see a nation that honors its past, where people were bled to form this union, to protect this union and preserve this union? we honor the sacrifice. oh say, can you see a nation that does not jump from one crisis to another crisis but
lists their vision of the immediate urgency's to the larger calling of our country and our children and grandchildren and expands the vision of what is possible when we unite? oh say, can you see a nation where its leaders in congress are not cowardly and confused but our nation's congress who pragmatically rules. a congress that can exhibit the truth of our nation, that we are the home of the brave. this, to me, is our moment. this, to me, is our opportunity. this, to me, is our chance to prove worthy of the blessing of our past. this, to me, is what i know is hope unhinged, the destiny that calls us all.
may god bless america. [applause]♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, please direct your attention to the screen for a short message from senator dean heller. >> hello, no labels members and welcome to new york. i'm sorry i cannot be with you today. my son-in-law is being sworn in as a state senator in arizona. he is a democrat and i am a republican.
our family is in no labels family. you can even say that nevada is a mill labels state.-- no lab els state. what we are doing together is very serious. america's future is threatened by hyper-partisanship and gridlock has gone out of control. the no labels solution of our party is coming together to solve our nation's problems is the only way forward. we have a democrat in the white house. democrats running the senate and republicans running the house. we either solve problems together or not at all. my legislation, called no budget, no pay is a poor example. starting the fiscal year, if congressman cannot pass a budget, they should not get paid. this legislation has bipartisan support. i am a republican and proud of that. the problem in washington is
that too many people think being a republican or democrat, conservative or liberal, means never talking to or negotiating with the other side. that simply will not get it done anymore. what is great about no labels is that it welcomes conservatives, liberals, and everyone in between. we do not have to abandon our principles, we just have to abandon the labels and commit to finding common ground where we can. and respectfully disagreeing where we cannot. i will keep reaching across the aisle in the senate, just like my new colleagues and your neck -- next speaker, angus king, has done during his career. it is simply the right thing to do to secure a strong future for america. i look forward to working closely with the new labels community in the months ahead and i hope you all have a wonderful and productive day. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome, from the great state of maine, senator angus king.♪
>> thank you. i liked the music. the other day i was introduced and the good news is that they used the stones. the bad news is it was "you can always get what you want -- "you can't always get what you want," which kind of bothers me. i am a state senator from the state of maine.[applause] i was in the u.s. capitol and this is new stuff, feeling really great, had my suit on. i went into a restaurant and i had one of these electric things that you draw your hands with.-- dry your hands with. somebody had written on it, "press here for a message from senator king." [laughter]
the bad news is, it was in harry reid's handwriting. [laughter] listen, the message is really simple. we have got to start talking to each other, solving problems, we have got to get rid of the ideology and you have got to be fired up to make it happen. the forces of division are fired up. the forces that want to pull us apart and put us into categories are fired up. there has to be support for people who want to solve problems, who want to tell the truth, who want to work a five- day week, who want to do the things that we need to do to get this country going. it is what is on the minds of the public. i was the only candidate in the country where people had a real choice. if you stop and think about it, your choices are determined by the parties by large.
in maine, people had a third choice. my favorite comment from the whole state was that people came up to me and said all my life, i wanted a chance to vote for none of the above. and you are it. [laughter] [applause] but the point is, people are more interested in solving the problems than they are about fighting about them. that was what i found during the campaign. i would go to small towns and talk to people. people did not come up to me and say, what do you think about health care? what do you think about the fiscal cliff? what do you think about afghanistan? they said, why the hell can't those people down there talk to each other? why cannot compromise? compromise. you know, the irony of the falls coming to washington and saying, i am not going to compromise, is that the united states senate was the product of compromise.
the great dispute at the constitutional convention was how representation should work. the big states won it by population. the smaller states were afraid of the big states and they almost broke up until they came to what was called the great compromise, which was the creation of the u.s. senate, an institution that represented the states whereas the house represented the population. to go to congress and say i'm not going to compromise is just crazy. that is how we solve problems. anybody who tells you i am not going to compromise is really telling you i have all the answers. i have never found anybody that has all the answers. our whole lives are based on compromise. my wife and i compromise five times a day. it usually consists of my saying yes. [laughter] but compromise is born of respect.
it is also born of relationships. i mentioned the five-day work week. i worked at congress as a staff person in the 1970's. i saw it work. i saw senators sit across the table, argue, disagree, reach a consensus, and move important legislation. part of the reason was they knew each other. they lived in washington. their children went to school together. they had barbeques, played golf, had a beer on a friday night. an old friend of mine once said you cannot hate someone if you know the names of their kids. a profound observation. one of the problems now is that everybody leaves.
they leave on thursday afternoon and come back monday evening. so you do not have the relationships. it is all warfare all the time. we have to start breaking down. right now, the structure is set up to encourage members of congress to play to their bases. >> democrats and republicans in the congress. they're not making relationships. >> it is a lot easier to go on the attack. >> the whole system is fundamentally constructed around division. >> that is how you raise money. >> people get that washington is broken and they have to come here and do something about it. >> i became a senator because i wanted to fix things. i take an oath of office for all
the people. when you get to be my age, you're going to regret things about your life. i regret not reaching out and trying to make a difference. i regret not supporting in getting involved. i regret not helping the people that were trying to solve problems and letting the partisans carry this stage. don't feel that way. you don't want to have that regret. the final thought i will share with you is the most profound observation i have ever encountered about change and about dealing with changed circumstances. we are in new circumstances. congress has not always been the way it is today. we have had great problems in
this country but it has not been locked out the way it is today. almost exactly 150 years ago, abraham lincoln was having a problem with congress. the problem was that we did not understand that the circumstances of the civil war was a fundamentally different situation that has been maintained all the way through the 30's, 40's, and '50s. they were trying to deal with it in partisan and political ways. at a low point in the greatest catastrophe that has ever before on this country. what he said about chains that day and how to deal with it, i think echoes this morning in new york city and across america. here is what abraham lincoln said.
in the dogma of the quiet past is inadequate to the stormy present. the occasion is piled high with difficulty, and therefore, we must rise with the occasion. as our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. we must disenthrall ourselves, and we should save our country. then we shall save our country. a thank-you. [applause] ♪
>> please turn your attention to the screen for a short message from senator kelly ayotte. >> i want to thank all of you for spending the time to learn more about no labels. now more than ever, we need to make sure that we solve the problems that face our country. it so much in washington is focused on one party versus another. it will help solve the great problems of our country.
>> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the no labels found in leader, -- labels founding leader, kiki mclain.♪ ♪
>> that sums it up. we need a new attitude, right? where do you start? how do you start the work? how do you make it happen? you have to start by building trust. that is why we are focused today on the concept of the problem solvers, a group of men and women that can come together to build trust, come to know one another, decide if we want to stop fighting and start fixing. understand where the common ground is and where we can begin that solution. it means developing personal relationships and having a place they can work in the environment. things like no budget, no pay. bipartisan feeding, not always a nation divided even with our leaders.
i want to assure a video with you with congressman jack kingston of georgia. let's see what he had to say. >> the thing i really like is that i have to sit next to jim moran. i never really liked him, but it turns out we are friends. i would have walked if it weren't for my arch enemy nemesis. that is the problem, you start liking people. those kinds of relationships can take place because what happens in washington, when you decide you don't like somebody, something like this brings you together and you find out you were the one that was wrong. this is a great group with lots of potential and i am behind it. [applause] >> that is a great message from a republican from georgia about a relationship he has with a democrat and virginia.
i know that the congressman sent his best. he plans to be here but he has a 103 degree fever. we need him back in congress and in the working group to make sure we are solving those problems. for the next little bit of time, we are going to get to learn, listen, ask questions and engage with 10 members of congress that are the committed leaders in our problem solvers group. and here what they had to say about what is going on and their world. let's meet the congressional problem solvers. >> please welcome the congressional problem solvers. congressman schrader from oregon. congressman from virginia.
congressman ribble from wisconsin. congressman peter wells from vermont. congresswoman janet from california. congressman charlie dent from pennsylvania. congressman jim hines from connecticut. congressman david from rhode island. congressman from new york. and congressman lapinski from illinois. thank you, gentlemen and ladies.
please have a seat. isn't it awesome to see that kind of leadership in america today? while it is in the dna of these men and women that leave for america, it is because of your support they can do this. that is what makes it happen. what i would like to do is start on the far end, and we will hear from each of our leaders today about what it is that has brought them into the problem solvers group and how we will quickly move out into the question's going on with activists all over the country today. >> good morning, everyone.
what an amazing energy in this room, thank you for giving us the opportunity to share a few comments. i think it is simpler than everyone makes it seem. i have never met a member of congress, house, or senate didn't want to make our country better for the future. if we remember that goal, we can figure out a way to get there. this is about doing what our military does every day, working together to get the job done. i know you will encourage them to solve the problems of the greatest nation in the world. >> i represent connecticut's fourth congressional district.
this is one of the most of the first congressional district in the country. i have the towns with their hedge fund managers and the city of bridgeport conn. which is one of the port cities in the country and everyone in between. my district also sits for miles south of newtown. which became a big part of the public imagination a few weeks ago. one of the many things that happened, in the face of unspeakable tragedy, we felt, maybe for the first time, that we have a lot more in common than we have separating us. all of the conceit and the day- to-day concerns that we have in the face of such a powerful statement, how much we truly have in common.
we don't want that sort of thing to have to remind us of that fact. all of the issues that we struggle with, medicare, social security, welfare, how much we invest, all of those things at their core is the notion of wanting the same for the kids a new town as we do for the kids in greenwich. i want to thank you all for being here because the spirit of that sense, there is an awful more that unites us than divides us will make this congress will serve live up to the capability and the quality of this great republic. [applause] >> i was elected to congress about a year-and-a-half ago from california, representing a district in loss angeles -- los angeles.
i am a grandmother and i have worked in the private sector, i have teaching credentials, my whole life i have solved problems. i thought i was uniquely qualified to come to congress because we would be solving problems. it has been a frustrating movement from one crisis to the next, these have been man may. and i mean that. [applause] and the moderator is going to give her a pass on that one. it is the worst problem in our country that congress can't get along, then that is the worst place we can be. we have so many big problems. no labels has given me a great opportunity to get together with members of congress and find out
that we have more in common. thank you for your support. your voice will be allowed to moving forward to convince members of congress that we need to lay down our political partisan bickering and do something for the country. >> good morning, everybody. i represent the eighth congressional district which includes hot and and green bay wisconsin. i was asked to tell you why i decided to come this weekend. i am here because you are here. if there were americans that felt passionately enough that they would spend their money coming from all over to figure out how they can organically begin to change how washington works, i wanted to be part of it. i was not much different and maybe not at all different from most of you.
i could have saved myself being in this audience had i chosen not to run for congress. i would encourage you that have a strong interest to encourage running for congress yourself. thank you for having us. >> thanks to all of you for being here. we have a long history of doing what no labels is trying to do, work across the aisle in a bipartisan manner. we have health care changes that republicans and democrats will support. when i came to congress not too many years ago, it was astonishing how little interaction there was between members.
devoid in congress have an opportunity to talk to another member is hopefully going to be filled with this no labels group. i am sitting with republicans that tolerate my existence and i appreciate that kindly. no labels is the only opportunity, believe it or not, that you have to sit down together and understand how which other thanks. it is not myself talking to others convincing them that i am the smartest in the room, but listening to these guys. at the end of the day, it is about solving problems. you don't have to give up your credentials. what you want us to do is to solve the problem. i appreciate you being here and helping us.
>> i have the privilege of representing virginia's second congressional district. it is a very special place. i was raised by a marine and i never thought we would find our country at this place. each generation of americans, we will get through this. but at present, we are not meeting that obligation for the next generation. the entrepreneur businessman and never served in public office, i am encouraged by you being here today. we can get this done and you can keep the pressure on. we need to remember that before republicans and democrats, we are americans. and also those that are serving, those that have lost a loved one.
this gives us a deeper result to do what is right and it is a great encouragement to see you here. thank you so much. [applause] >> i am peter welch from vermont. in our daily lives, we work with other people and we find that those that we think we don't like, we see they have a lot of character and integrity. we had a terrible storm about a year ago and people were wiped out. everywhere i went, no matter what, people said, what can i do to help? people love lost their homes would meet me and they would say don't worry about me, there is a single mom with two kids. that is how most americans are.
they want to help and they feel good at the end of the day of the have done something constructive. we are in an alternative reality in congress. what are you going to do for me is the question. that is what has to break down, we have to have what you are inspiring. it is time for cooperation and progress. we would rather succeeded than fight and you are providing that sense of urgency that has to be communicated to those of us in congress to make that institution work on behalf of this country. [applause] >> thank you for allowing me to join you this morning. i represent the fifteenth district of pennsylvania. that is my wife. she is here.
but my district includes allentown, the hershey, the sweetest place on earth at three mile island. the reason i am here is because we have young people behind us and in front of us that make cases and i want to make sure they have a future hall of prosperity. what i am convinced of is that the american people are not afraid of the answers or the solutions to these very big challenges. but they are afraid of is that their leaders may not have the capacity or the ability to find the answers. but they can deal with the answers. that is why i am here, to make sure this country is a better place. whatever the public thinks of congress, with the no labels group, the problem solvers are making sure that there are those of us that talk to each other and develop relationships with trust. that is important to find solutions.
>> my name is david, i am a congressman from rhode island. i became part of this group because i came to washington with the expectation that i was part of solving some of the big challenges facing our country. i have only been at the beginning of my second term. mayors know that you do not have a republican plot hole or a democratic school that is failing. you have challenges that you have to solve every day. it is really an opportunity to come together and understand we have the responsibility to solve these problems. this group represents people on the far left, the far right, and people and the metal. and also a willingness to work
together to solve problems. it does exist, it is a broken place. this is an opportunity to work together. it cannot happen without all of you, thank you for supporting this work. i know we will build of government for the people that we serve. >> thank you, everyone for being here today. i represent the chicago area. my background is as an engineer. if you google it, it is problem- solving. i came to washington to solve problems. unfortunately, as the problems have gotten bigger, congress has gotten smaller. not smaller in size or ego, but smaller in the ability to get things done.
we are pulled in one direction or the other, we have to do this for our party or for this group or that group. what we need is for all of you to help us by reaching out to your representatives and tell them to join with us, and join with no labels. tell your representative to become a problem solver. it will give your representatives the incentive to join us and come together because in the end, we have to work together for our country to
solve these problems. it is only going to have been not just because the 25 of us get together, but because the american people say we need to get things solved. we need you to solve them. this is not just up to us, it is up to every single person in this group. [applause] >> there is something important that happened here this morning. the semi you are represented here today, when they identified themselves, they were not announced as republicans or democrats. they did not talk about their districts be in republican or democrat.
look at what they have in common today. that is a problem solver. we have an assignment for all of you. when you leave today, you need to call your elected officials, members of the house and members of the said to expect them to join the problem solver group and earned this pattern. and at the state of the union, we want to watch on television and see how many we see. [applause] we will make sure that these leaders have enough in their pocket. thank you, they shine a little light. we have runners with mike and we will have alternating back-and- forth.
>> in congress, congress doesn't necessarily work on facts. how can you change that so when we deal with facts, we can get solutions? >> we had this problem. >> getting the truth is not an
easy thing to do. you often get part of the truth or truth from a perspective, a spin on something. but there is data available to get to the facts on things. at this event here is being stream. there is so much information available, but part of this is providing the american people the truth. given the circumstances so that together, we can begin to solve problems on a basis of data that is accurate. it is also understandable so we can fix things. >> i will say that as one of the principles of no labels, beginning with a common set of facts.
we have an opinion of how we should navigate these challenging financial times and we should have those disagreements. >> one of the ideas is non- partisan staff rather than having a democratic staff or republican staff to give you information that you regurgitate, everyone has a common set of information and we will ask the appropriate questions. [applause] correct another question for us? asked my name is mary, i came all the way from new mexico.
[applause] i would like to know if the problem solvers have spoken to their colleagues in congress about joining this group, and how big do you think the group might become? >> i have spoken to some of my colleagues. the truth is, many of them do want to become part of this. it is not as hard for me, a guy in a marginal district that is pretty competitive to be part of this. i was have to work with my consensus and persuade people. i think the bigger challenge is to get some of our colleagues involved to represent very safe districts. it may be harder for them to diverge from party orthodoxy. that will be the challenge. to get some of those folks. we are not asking anybody to check their ideology at the door or their party label. we are asking people to be pragmatic and practical and try to find solutions. we have a divided government now, that is what the voters wanted. that is meant for us.
we still have to find solutions. the key is, talk to your members of congress who are from the safe seats. they are the ones we need to engage in this dialogue. >> i was keeping this a secret. i came to congress to find ways to reach across the aisle and make friends. i am part of a bipartisan prayer breakfast are just so i could bn a room once a week with members of the other party. i am debating playing softball, getting up at 7:00 a.m. for practice just so i can find ways to make friends and relationships. i hope life, i do not know if it is because i am a woman, everything is about relationships. about making friends. that is how you get things done. i think this gives an opportunity to find a way to be
in the same room and get to know what little bit about each other. i think there is a hunger, not just for the part of the american people, but with members of congress. to find ways to do something that they can go back to their districts and say, yes. i am working together. yes, i am reaching across the aisle. that is what gets the biggest applause when i go home areas when i mention one thing that i am doing, in a bipartisan fashion, that is what makes people's faces light up. that is what they are looking for in their leaders in congress. >> what kind of conversations have you had? >> you not make the mistake, if you are member of congress or senator says, for reason, i do not want to do that. it is not that they are bad people. of the 535 of us, there are not a lot of folks who would not
say a lot of what you have heard from us up here today. the challenge is, if we are nothing else, we are pretty finely tuned instruments understanding the incentives that are out there. unfortunately today, there is a lot of old who worry about being primary and the extreme of their party. we sat with dick lugar and blanche lincoln. if you are worried about being primary do from your parties extreme, it is hard to reach across the aisle. the very act of reaching across the aisle will be a 32nd ad in the primary election. let's go beyond just saying, how can i convince the sky who is not -- this guy who is not being constructive? let's set up a system with those who do go across the aisle. they went to think they are protected somehow. [applause] >> this is where our activist's
come in. this is where the no labels activists come in. >> 100%. this is a venue and a foreign to give those members that ordinarily would not want to put themselves out there and take on the risk of multiple primaries, this is the cover that they need. there is something else each and everyone of you can do. why is the primary process so difficult, especially in the safe seats where it is guaranteed to to be a democrat or republican that wins? very few people get involved in the primary process. only those that they say are very involved in party politics that even vote in your primaries. but only do you need to encourage your individual member of congress to join this group, you also need to that out there and vote in your primaries so that you do not have the extremes always winning.
that is also part of the solution. this is a great way to start. we need to get more involved as well. >> a question over here? >> the morning. i am from minnesota where all the children are above average. [laughter] i heard the talk about incentives. as somebody who is in flyover land, i am trying to think that we can break through and actually reach our members. unfortunately there are none for minnesota on the stage today. i sent out a lot of holiday cards. if i was a constituent and you received a letter that said, i am asking you to join the problem solvers group, and i'm going to send a letter to everyone on my christmas card list informing them of what your decision was, would you find that motivating tha?
>> how big is the list question mark >> about 450. >> there is no question that most members of congress will listen to their constituents. the problem is, we are not hearing from the vast majority that just wants to get things done. i hear i was in a christmas parade. i hear someone yell, fix the fical cliff. here i am in the middle of a parade. they have to yell out to me, compromise. they are yearning for it, people want it to happen. we need to hear that from more people. we also have to hear if as from -- from as many people as
possible. it is not just the people who are contacting us. we do keep house. we do look at the letters. we do keep count of how many people write in and if we have 25, 50, 75, 100 people start calling in, that will be heard. that will be noticed. it does make a difference. >> we heard yesterday from the ceo of bypac. but you talk about what gets short notice? what kind of conversation works? >> i can tell you a couple of things. one thing that does not get my attention is threats or yelling and screaming. we have enough yelling and screaming. u.s. citizens do not want us to yell and scream. no more than we want you to yell
and scream at us. it is not how you but eight things. what i ate respond to is when citizens, thoughtful americans, whether they're coming from a polar opposite position are able to come and talk to me or send me a letter that is thoughtful and thought-provoking. that is my to my attention. if someone starts out with six expletives and goes down from their it is less likely for me to pay attention. we as a community, we have to begin to talk to each other in a way we would want to be spoken to. this idea that everything is a fight, it is counterproductive to the democratic process. it does not work with me. i do not think it works with many members of congress. the best thing you can do even if you have a member who is an opposite political ideology than your own is to go to them and
say, how can i help you advance these ideas? what can i do to participate in this process and are likely to get a fairly good listen to. >> i will bring in a question from facebook. i will ask if you can dive in and anyone else can follow on. what incentives for incentive to my senators and representatives have to solve the fiscal dilemma? what is it that makes it worth it to get to that table and stay there? >> the path that we're on is not acceptable. one of the pleasures and joys of public service is all the things i used to say and i can now say on the house floor. we really do have to chart a different path for our children and grandchildren.
i want to support what reed was saying. when the conduct of man is designed to be influenced persuasion, kind unassuming persuasion should be adopted and i am convinced this really is the path to go. that stability is not weakness. and no labels -- woodnall labels is committed to doing is elevating the facts of the matter. when we elevate the fact i think that is the key to finding common ground. it is like to circles. it can be found in the congress. >> i think it can be found in dealing with our recovery. economic recovery and the
deficit issues that face our kids and grandkids. a lot of lip service is paid to dealing with the middle class. that is the buzzword. i get concerned we're talking about just us. what about our kids? what about the middle class of the future? what middle-class life for the behalf unless we step up and do the right things? and to me it is -- i campaigned. i campaigned on the suicide mission to reform medicare end to do tax reform. every town hall, every rotary, chamber meeting. i would talk about those things and those two things only. guaranteed political suicide. we can do this. >> in answer to that question, what will we do to get washington to do with the fiscal
challenge? there were some business leaders and alan greenspan was there. he said what are you going to do something on this fiscal challenge? are you going to do it before or after the bond market crashes and it will crash. he is not known for hyperbole. and it struck me that the former chair of the federal reserve is saying you are facing an impending crisis and you will need to deal with that. the question is will you deal with it before it hits or after? the answer to that is it is part of the reason why i'm involved with this group. i want to deal with the problem before it comes a crisis and we need to make sure we build relationships and the trust necessary to find the solutions now. it will be too late when there is a crash. i'm afraid these problems will become too big for us to manage.
>> way in the back. >> i will get you to speak up louder. you're in the back. >> i am family from a technical school in massachusetts. what can i help my country to create in more problem-solving? >> can you -- what to know what you can do -- >> to help make more problem- solving. >> to make more problem-solving happen. >> stay in school. your being here is really fabulous. the energy that we're going to need is going to come from young people who are the ones most imperiled if we do not get our fiscal house in order. if we do not get our institutions in order. members of congress would feel better at the end of the date if
we had something to show for our work and we have a job in the inside. you have a job on the outside. we're hearing republican and democratic members, would you get together and get something done? you have a right to confer a sense of urgency that is your expectation. it is our job to come up with some solutions. our job is to break the stranglehold that these field practices have on our ability to work together. the first question was about facts. congress is a fact-free zone. it literally is. everything that we do does not allow us to have a sit-down conversation where you work through the facts and come out with a different point of view.
in the same zone, we do not have, and committee staff so everything is adversarial. the staff that we do have oftentimes reflects the attitude of the member and if it is a talking point member and the staff does the same thing. when we meet in committees there is very little effort to create a common agenda and work together. it is trying to get the witnesses of hot-button items. everything we're doing is getting in the way of less problems. on the fiscal issue a lot of us think that the idea of going big is the only way to go because there is going to be some difficulty for less. -- for all of us. republicans to have to put revenues on the table, democrats have to put some reforms andthe only way we will go back to our constituents and be able to this is good for the country. everyone is willing to do their
part if they see there is something in it for the common good. [applause] >> i want to go back to what is the incentive for members of house? that to me is that the crux of these dramas. congress. there's a feeling the only way democrats will come to the table and make some significant reforms is if we are held hostage by either raising the debt limit, the sequestration, there's a sense that unless we tie the woman to the tracks while the train is coming down, no one is going to act to save a hostage. so there is a huge mistrust. there is a feeling that will do constructive. the only way we're forced to
act is with these man-made crisesthat is the problem. there has to be a basic understanding and agreement that we are all there. we're all there to work on these big issues but so far, there has not been an opportunity outside of these major dramas and cliffs and taking us to the edge, shutting down the government, not paying our bills by raising the debt ceiling and that is no way to govern the country. i am hopeful that new labels will give us a way to govern the country where we start out at least bleeding in trusting the other members across the aisle have come to congress for the same reason we have. >> what can you do to bring about a more thoughtful, pragmatic congress? i want to throw out three ideas
that are beyond the scope of what knolls febles has taken on. -- no labels has taken on. it was not perfect. we have 150 saved seats. they fear their primary. number two, money. and sentence. the creation of money is one of the threats to democracy. where incentivize to do crazy things.
i give two examples last night. when the season the outrageous on the floor, when a republican member calls the president a liar, when a democratic member says the republican health care program is don't get sick and if you die, die quickly. those statements damage the fabric of our democracy and they raised $1 million in 24 hours. we can do about -- something about those first two. number three is the media. i am old enough to remember when there were three channels of television and every channel had their version of walter cronkite that tried to pitch down the middle. you thought about them. gravitation. the right watches fox, the left watches msnbc and never the twain shall meet and you are
reinforcing your opinions rather than requiring to stretch and think. [applause] >> thank you. >> a perfect lead in. i have a background in engineering. i have a degree in pauly side. -- poly sci. what jim was just saying, don't olimit yourself -- do not limit yourself. we need to understand other points of view. if you do not have to agree. you have to be able to understand it. that is the only way you can
reach a real compromise and reach agreement with others. we are becoming so fractured in our country because people listen only to what they want to hear. read what they want to read and they do not understand anyone else. differently are crazy. there is something wrong. things. that is critical for your and your people. -- younger people. we have become very cynical about other people and can anything ever be done, because i have the right answer and there's something wrong with them. we need to all be able to talk together and that starts with understanding each other. young lady in high school.
one of the things that anyone can do, so young people can open their minds and make informed decisions not based on influences of their professors or even their parents but for themselves. decide whether they believe in policy? or why. i would suggest finding the next race, what ever it is, worked on campaigns for mayor republican and volunteer for democrats. decide for yourself what you learn from those campaigns. i would take whatever books you want to do. a conservative and more liberal book. read the men compare. do things that will show you what is out there and make an informed decision. do not allow the media to decide the end result for you and write the narrative.
go and listen to the candidates on both sides. hear what they have to say and make your decision to wear you fall. and you will be able to support the candidate that really represents you. that is what our job is. as a whole for gatt trade congress's job is to represent you in the great people that make it a wonderful country it is. if we get involved in the political arena will have a much better country working together. >> thank you. as we come around band, i will ask a question from where our fellow activists who has come through on twitter. one last question wind up on the floor.
twitter. >> what is the first on the agenda to help make congress more successful for the people? what is the first thing you can do in congress to get this bring in making its successful? kirk's the first and worst -- most important thing is to create a venue to have these conversations about how we can make congress work more effectively i think jim issues. one of the things we recognize is that there is a process in the way we run elections in this country and the way that congress of recess three fixed- rate every dinner change the process and get -- you are not producing different results unless you fix the underlying problems in a way that we do. redistricting of the way that we find and run campaigns. all the things that have been identified.
identify the procedural things that we do and how do we fix those. the first thing is an ability to create an opportunity to reach across the aisle and develop mutually respectful relationships so we can problem solved together and create a culture where if you're not a problem solver you have to explain why. knolls is providing that. it should be their verse tragedy political liability not to be a problem solver. not the reverse. >> a number of us have put our names on a letter to talk about the rules of the game. in terms of budgets. you hear people talking about baselines and assumptions and projections. we can agree on what the
baseline is trade we want to have a non-partisan source to help us come to agreement on what the rules are pretty clear from the solutions were rejected do something very concrete and we have to agree on the rules. that is one thing we can be doing right now. >> were you? >> i am from savannah, georgia. i am represented by jack kingston. i am representing him in new york. >> thank you for being here. >> you talk to are going to mark warner home and killing from alan greenspan. mark warner is the co-founder along with saxby chambliss was my senator from georgia. trying to find a bipartisan solution or an option for our deficit problem.
all of you should think about forming a bipartisan group in that house to come up with a deficit solution. [applause] >> in response to that comment would be theirs. -- would be this. i think there already is a bipartisan plan that has been at. it is not perfect. it is the start. it is weak on health care. erskine bowles will tell you that. i think it is a starting point. maybe the answer is -- david walker is here. he has been very vocal. maybe what we have to do is look at the best aspects of the proposal out there. simms and bowls, a gang of six.
and take those pieces and try to put together a real plan. a person. -- it will be bipartisan. i think there is a foundation of their upon which we should build. that would be my answer. my answer. prentixx if we put everything on the table -- everything on the table which is a core feature of the work that david walker has been doing where revenue has to report a bit, cuts have to be part of it. the pentagon has to make a contribution to the effort. we put everything on the table we can get from where we are to where we need to be. that is common sense. that is where the tectonic forces are tugging in opposite directions. we did have a group of tenants -- 10 of lasus who are making n
effort to do similar to what the gang of six was trying to do. what i think we can do is work at a lower level whereby passing legislation, it might be the redistricting commission that you talked about. or maybe energy efficiency. to find some issue where it will be news that there is 20 verizon 20 republicans who are working together. m. e. they were sure bet each other's consent conference and advocates together for taking a step forward. it is by example and getting some small successes that we can change the way congress and functioning. -- congress is functioning. >> there was a group, i was part of. at the height of it there was 140 members, bipartisan, bicameral. we met several times and we were making a headway, putting a lot
of ideas on the table. ity've broken up when decided there would be nine members. i sat next to steny hoyer. i am sitting next to leadership of the democratic party. little by local, media would start to leak out on things we're putting on the table. right away they start and it builds and little by little, colleagues start to fall off and leadership looks at it and the politics comes into play. what was missing, why did not work is because we did not have a group like this. we did not have a forum that could support those that were sticking their necks at to get it done. that is why is the all- important. [applause] that you contact your member of congress, your senator, and urge us to give the support we need and you really are the answer in this room.
all of you. >> earmark to share a word of encouragement with you. -- i want to share a word of encouragement with you. about how he bowled the interest entitlements. and got reelected. what happened in my own district, i'm a businessman and ran for congress. i ran on a statement similar to this. we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem. i truly believe that. when i got in there, i immersed myself in this and i heard my democratic colleagues thing we have a revenue problem. let's either prove or disprove this. one way or the other. when i immersed myself into that, the calculations are pretty simple. i will not go into too much of the math. [inaud ibthe americans for tax reform
pledge lock us into that. of this into that. i came to the conclusion that i came to the conclusion that is a mathematical and conservative imperative that revenue made the voted for. [applause] here is the good news. when i walk through this, -- they said wait until after march 15. i cannot do that for the same reason. it was on the front page the same day. the next person who texted me, he said thank you for doing what is right. when americans are given good
intermission they make good decisions. [applause] >> this is why its important to send good people to congress like scott. we have got to quit sending people to congress who have taken a pledge or an oath to something other than the american people. the american people cannot keep telling us to compromise and then send people to congress to come to congress and say i took a pledge not to compromise. there's a big difference between when you campaign on and how you can davenport. -- how you can govern in this country. we need to send more people to
congress who know what it means to govern, to listen to the decisions. >> it is extremely important. we take an oath. it is the same oath to support and defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same. that is the oath that matters. that is the oath that those that are giving life and limb take. if we do that we can compromise and make this country move forward. [applause] >> i think you are back there now. tweet now, go on your facebook page. tell your member of congress you want them in the problem solver group.
look for the orange pen. make sure we keep our eyes open on state of the union night. make sure when they have the courage to be here for us we have the courage to be there for them. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you. ♪ >> daniel newhouser is with us. what is on the legislative agenda this week? >> the only bill they're going to be voting on is requiring a plan act sponsored by tom price.
sources have told me the idea came out of meetings with arab cantor.nd -- erick kante when the president submits his bill to congress, when he does that, it will identify a year in which it is about the budget. if he does not identify the year, he would have to go back and submit a second budget. for that to go into affect the senate would have to pass it as well. it will send a message from the house. >> house republicans are insisting this bill is necessary. why is that? >> obey president -- the president was late. ain, it wast agian today. they want to make sure there is some fiscal responsibility of
the white house. they want to balance the budget. they have identified a goal of 10 years that they want. even though the paul ryan budget to more than 20. the president is on the record saying i want to balance the budget this way by this time. >> waterhouse democrat saying and will they vote in favor of final passage? >> no. i would be surprised if any of them voted in favor. some of the fiscally conservative democrats might consider voting for this because it would play well in the district. i would venture to say the mask -- fast majority think this is a gimmick. something that it is a messaging bill than substantive. i doubt we will see too much support. >> house democrats have a private party meetings outside the capital scheduled for later this week. what kind of issues are coming
up during those meetings? >> the democrats are meeting in leesburg. the same kind of thing republicans did in williamsburg. the kind of do a status of the party. where way, what is our role, how are we going to work with the president, how will we work against house republicans, how will we work with the senate, all those kinds of things. the conservative republicans are meeting in baltimore at the same time this weekend to meet with the heritage foundation retreat. we will have all kinds of sessions in the retreat talking about how the conservatives will exist as a unit within the republican party. there is a lot of soul-searching going on. >> what kind of legislative issues can we expect republicans taking up? >> we have to do with sequestration and the resolution that will expire next month. we have a lot of big ticket
fiscal issues looming trade we would expect that something that would deal with those would come up and of course the budget itself. paul ryan is putting it together as we speak we're hearing. we will have that in april or so. as well as competing budget proves. >> it can read his work at >> president obama encourages congress to take measures reducing gun violence. and lisa murkowski with a proposal for energy policy. and secretary of state john kerry speaks to state department employees. on the next washington journal, jim mcdermott, a member of the
ways and means committee will focus on the affordable care act and medicare spending. we will discuss federal spending with scott garrett. and the executive director of the nine media institute. looking at the role of journalists in afghanistan. live on c-span every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> julia loved her time in the white house. she said in her memoirs it was like a bright and beautiful dream. quite the most wonderful time of my life. i think that gives you some idea of how much she reminded that she enjoyed being first lady and how she felt her husband had finally achieved recognition he deserved. >> edith mayor on julia grant. original new series.
their interests and their influence on the president. season one begins presidents' day, february 18 at 9:00 p.m. eastern and pacific on c-span, c-span radio, and >> president obama visited the minneapolis police department special operations center. this is 15 minutes. [applause] >> hello, everybody. please have a seat. have a seat. well, it is good to be back in
minnesota. [applause] it is good to be back. although i was commenting that they do not really have winter in washington, d.c. [laughter] so i have gotten soft over these last four years. when i was in chicago, this was nothing. now it is something. [laughter] but i'm grateful for all of you being here today. i want to thank chief harteau and the entire minneapolis police department for having me here today. there are a number of other people that i just want to acknowledge here. first of all, a wonderful man and one of america's greatest public servants is here -- walter mondale, former vice president. [applause] your outstanding governor, mark dayton, is here. [applause] two great mayors -- mayor r.t.
rybak of minneapolis, and mayor chris coleman of st. paul. [applause] and your outstanding congressional delegation -- senator amy klobuchar -- [applause] senator al franken -- [applause] representative keith ellison -- [applause] and representative betty mccullough. [applause] and i should acknowledge my outstanding attorney general -- what's your name again? [laughter] he does a great job every single day, and i could not be prouder of eric holder for his leadership on this issue in particular. [applause]
now, i just had a chance to sit down with some local police officers but also community leaders, as well as folks who themselves had been victims or whose families had been victims of gun violence, to hear their ideas about how we can protect our kids and address the broader epidemic of gun violence in this country. because if we are serious about preventing the kinds of tragedies that happened in newtown, or the tragedies that happen every day in places like chicago or philadelphia or minneapolis, then law enforcement and other community leaders must have a seat at the table. all the folks standing here behind me today, they are the ones on the front line of this fight. they see the awful consequences -- the lives lost, the families shattered.
they know what works, they know what does not work, and they know how to get things done without regard for politics. so we have had a very productive discussion. and one of the things that struck me was that even though those who were sitting around that table represented very different communities, from big cities to small towns, they all believe it is time to take some basic, common-sense steps to reduce gun violence. we may not be able to prevent every massacre or random shooting. no law or set of laws can keep our children completely safe. but if there is even one thing we can do, if there is just one life we can save, we have got an obligation to try. that has been the philosophy here in minneapolis.
a few years back, you suffered a spike in violent crime involving young people. so this city came together. you launched a series of youth initiatives that have reduced the number of young people injured by guns by 40% -- 40%. so when it comes to protecting our children from gun violence, you have shown that progress is possible. we have still got to deal with the 60% that remains, but that 40% means lives saved -- parents whose hearts are not broken, communities that are not terrorized and afraid. we do not have to agree on everything to agree it is time to do something. [applause] that is my main message here today. and each of us has a role to play. a few weeks ago, i took action on my own to strengthen background checks, to help schools get more resource officers if they want them, and to direct the centers for disease control to study the causes of violence.
because for a long time, even looking at the evidence was considered somehow tough politics. and so congress had taken the approach that, we do not want to know. well, that is never the answer to a problem -- is not wanting to know what is going on. so we have been able to take some steps through administrative action. but while these steps are important, real and lasting change also requires congress to do its part and to do it soon, not to wait. the good news is that we are starting to see a consensus emerge about the action congress needs to take. the vast majority of americans -- including a majority of gun owners -- support requiring
criminal background checks for anyone trying to buy a gun. [applause] so right now, democrats and republicans in the senate are working on a bill that would ban anyone from selling a gun to somebody legally prohibited from owning one. that is common sense. there is no reason we cannot get that done. that is not a liberal idea or a conservative idea; it is not a democratic or republican idea -- that is a smart idea. we want to keep those guns out of hands of folks who should not have them. senators from both parties have also come together and proposed a bill that would crack down on people who buy guns only to turn them around and sell them
to criminals. it is a bill that would keep more guns off the street and out of the hands of people with the intent of doing harm. [applause] and, by the way, in addition to reducing violence on the streets, it would also make life a lot easier and a lot safer for the people standing behind me here today. [applause] we should not stop there. we should restore the ban on military-style assault weapons and a 10-round limit for magazines. [applause] and that deserves a vote in congress -- because weapons of war have no place on our streets, or in our schools, or threatening our law enforcement officers. our law enforcement officers should never be out-gunned on the streets. [applause] but we also know that if we are going to solve the problem of gun violence, then we have got to look at root causes as well. that means we should make it
easier for young people to get access to mental health treatment. [applause] we should help communities like this one keep more cops on the beat. [applause] and since congress hasn't confirmed a director of the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms in six years, they should confirm your u.s. attorney from minnesota, todd jones, who is here today and who i have nominated for this post. [applause] these are common-sense measures supported by democrats, republicans and independents, and many of them are responsible gun owners. and we are seeing members of congress from both parties put aside their differences and work together to make many of them a reality. but if there is one thing that i have learned over the last four years, it is that you cannot count on anything in washington until it is done. and nothing is done yet.
there is been a lot of talk, a lot of conversation, a lot of publicity, but we have not actually taken concrete steps yet. last week, the senate held its first hearing since newtown on the need to address gun violence and the best way to move forward, and the first people to offer testimony were gabby giffords and her husband, mark kelly. they talked about how a complex problem like this has no single solution, but if we still had a 10-round limit on magazines, for example, the gunman who shot gabby may never have been able to inflict 33 gunshot wounds in 15 seconds. fifteen seconds, 33 rounds fired. some of the six people who lost their lives that day in tucson might still be with us. now, changing the status quo is never easy. this will be no exception.
the only way we can reduce gun violence in this country is if the american people decide it is important. if you decide it is important. if parents and teachers, police officers and pastors, hunters and sportsmen, americans of every background stand up and say this time it is got to be different -- we have suffered too much pain to stand by and do nothing. and by the way, it is really important for us to engage with folks who do not agree with us on everything, because we hope that we can find some areas where we do agree. and we have to recognize that there are going to be regional differences and geographic differences. the experience that people have of guns in an urban neighborhood may not be the same as in a rural community. but we know, for example, from polling that universal
background checks are universally supported just about, by gun owners. the majority of gun owners, overwhelming majority of gun owners think that is a good idea. so if we have got lobbyists in washington claiming to speak for gun owners saying something different, we need to go to the source and reach out to people directly. we cannot allow those filters to get in the way of common sense. that is why i need everybody who's listening to keep the pressure on your member of congress to do the right thing. ask them if they support common-sense reforms like requiring universal background checks, or restoring the ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. tell them there is no legislation to eliminate all guns, there is no legislation being proposed to subvert the
second amendment. tell them specifically what we are talking about -- things that the majority of americans, when they are asked, support. and tell them now is the time for action. that we are not going to wait until the next newtown or the next aurora. we are not going to wait until after we lose more innocent americans on street corners all across the country. we are not going to wait until somebody else's father or son are murdered. some of the officers here today know what it is like to look into the eyes of a parent or a grandparent, a brother or a sister who has just lost a loved one to an act of violence; to see the pain and the heartbreak from wondering why this precious life, this piece of your heart was in the wrong
place at the wrong time. it changes you. you are not the same afterwards. and obviously whatever that experience is like is nothing compared to the experience that those families are actually going through. and it makes you realize that if there is even one thing we can do to keep our children and our community safe, if there is just one step we can take to prevent more families from feeling what they feel after they've lost a loved one, we have got an obligation to take that step. we have got an obligation to give our police officers and our communities the tools they need to make some of the same progress that is been made here in minneapolis. there will not be perfect solutions. we are not going to save every life. but we can make a difference. and that is our responsibility as americans. and that is what i will do every single day as long i have got the honor of serving as your
president. so thank you. god bless you. god bless these united states of america. [applause] thank you. [applause] >> a bipartisan group of house members [inaudible] and impose stronger penalties to stop purchasers who buy guns for convicted felons and others were prohibited from buying guns on their own. you can see that on c-span3 at 2:00 p.m. eastern. >> the single thing that coolidge did that we want to member is when he left office the budget was lower than when he came in. that is the story for us now. the economy grew a lot.
more than 3% sometimes. unemployment was below 5%. the budget was balanced due to his own parsimony. how did he make the budget go lower and how did that help the economy? a lot. he got the government out of the way of the economy. >> tracing the life of the 30th president of the united states. sunday night at 8:00 p.m. placer caskey on energy policy including a proposal for the arctic national wildlife refuge and the keystone pipeline. this is 45 minutes. >> it is lonely when you are the only one appear and i do not have any charts. i have them -- the book. the book that you have been waiting for. we've been talking about it for years now. thanks for the opportunity to
talk a little bit about what we have been doing on the energy committee for the past year. in an effort to focus on where we have been with energy policy and how we move forward in a way that is not the same old same old but really rematching -- three imagining and refocusing where we should be. it has been an important opportunity to put some considered thought into this proposal. what you have in front of you is better than airplane reading. there are concrete proposals. there are some suggestions in this energy document that people will look at and they will argue and they will say that is one person's view. that is true. that is true.
what we're trying to do is not to give you a legislative package starting with initiatives that we're going to kind of clicked off as we move forward. conversation. one of the things about changing the conversation is because the energy paradigm has really shifted. it was all about scarcity and shortages and how dependent we were on foreign sources for oil. it was looking at the need for lng. fast forward to where we are today and the import terminals are now looking to the export terminals. we have made considerable gains in terms of our on energy independence to the point where
it is no longer just a slogan we are talking about. we need to think about what it means to go from an energy discussion that is focused on scarcity to one that is focused on relative abundance. and what that means for us as a nation. i started off comments this morning and i distilled a pretty simply, starting off with the proposition that energy is good. i think any of you that watched the super bowl last night know that energy is not only good, it is necessary. and whether it is keeping the lights on so we can enjoy the game or if it is keeping the lights on so that we can work,
this is essential to who we are as a prosperous nation. when you look at this cover, there is a reason for the cover here. when you look at where the lights are around the world, these are prosperous nations where the lights are on. where the lights are off and mongolia and parts of china, and unfortunately, my state of alaska. this is not such a prosperous area. how we utilize this is basic premise, starting from energy is good and moving from their is part of how we want to launch this discussion. and contained within this, again, five pretty simple propositions. we need to move to an energy policy that is abundant,
affordable, clean, diverse, secure. when you look at energy in that context, it really does help give you some parameters and guidelines as to how to move forward. as you go through this proposal -- again, think about it in the context which i am offering yet. not legislation. the first question is going to be when we will see the first bill. you will see legislation move forward based on the conversations, based on debate and dialogue on issues. whether it is how we advance revenue sharing or how we put in place and export policy that is not only go ahead -- good for jobs, working with the balance of trade that is so incredibly important. establishe trying to here is a good direction. i am going to anticipate one of your questions which will be,
how does climate change fit into your discussion in energy 2020? it has to be part and parcel of what we are talking about. a change in our energy dynamic, there is also a very keen awareness about energy production, energy consumption, that demands attention to the environmental aspect as well. we don't shy away from it. but you will not see a cap and trade proposal. you will not see suggestions that we need to impose a carbon tax. a carbon tax is designed to increase the cost. in my state of alaska, and that
community on the river, on the yukon river, they are paying $6.99 for diesel right now. that is how they are heating their homes. when you suggest to them that the best thing for you to do is to increase the price that you will decrease your consumption. i don't know what the temperature is this morning but last week the temperatures range between 45 below and 50 below depending on who's thermometer you were working -- looking at. i can't go back to alaska and tell people the way we tackle this is to increase your prices, demanding you to use less and limit your choices. that is not what a strong nation does. a strong nation figures out how we advanced to that next stage, how we build out these
technologies, clean technologies and diverse technologies that allow us to do more and do it in no way that is an environmentally responsible way. imposing the mandates of other heavy hand of ideas that are out there for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. they are not going to pass congress. what we need to be dealing, as we move forward, there will be rolled-making efforts. -- rule-making efforts. need to find those ways that we develop the technologies to really allow us to have that greater environmental responsibility. we need to develop resources that we have today, do it domestically so we cut our dependence on opec.
take a portion of that revenue and we specifically dedicate it to the energy solutions of tomorrow. we talk about the energy deployment fund and how it will build out and advance. that is the framework. it is good reading and it is designed to advance the discussion on a critically important topic.
do see a lot of new changes happening to the new administration. how could we summarize those changes? my opinion is that the new leaders will pay attention more science-onal based model. they will pay more attention to the public opinion. to the livelihoods. the new leaders will pay more attention and focus on reform and opening up. by reforming, the new leaders are trying to eliminate the hurdles in front of the development of china. the new leaders will pay more attention, ruled by law.
as they pay attention to the transformation. not the growth of china's economy. do you all think that the new leaders -- are more pragmatic in their approach? after the 18th party congress, our party and government will lead the chinese people to achieve the goal of beauty. fulfill the chinese dream. >> my question for you is, the president mentioned the rule by law. -- society, how could it be achieved and what is your perspective as a banker? >> i think that is the basic
benchmark when we talk about rule by law. that is something fundamental. as president lee mentioned about the reform of the government, i believe the chinese reform, the emerging task is actually how to reform the government business assess from -- process from government approval. all kinds of things need to be approved by the government. i think this should be reformed. we have already mentioned that the market should play the fundamental role in the economy. that has already been mentioned. in the recent few years, this voice has been weakened. for any financial or economic
crisis happening in the world, it is the government who interferes. it is the government to give out the money. it all think that -- government should have the responsibility. this is a very easy to be misunderstood. thinking that the government approval should be -- [indiscernible]this is a worldwide topic. if the government pays a more important role, the market will play a weaker role. what is the opinion about the government role in a market economy? governments are getting more and more powerful in the economy. for a transitional country like china, it does not see a lot of things for government role. >> what you said is absolutely
correct, the government is too heavy a hand. there are institutional reforms that could be made. for example, there is some movement to shift revenue to the provinces and away from the center. they are less dependent on their power as government to get money. they have a more rational source of revenue, might lead to having less government roles and less government regulations. it is certainly true that around the world, government have grown inexorably bigger. it gets more expensive to provide services and find competitive ways to do that. it is not a fine line between where is the government and where is the private sector are. the government can hand over the u.s. postal service. that is private. everything they charges set by the government. where they deliver is set by
the government. that is extreme. it is a continuum between what is private, what is the government. that is a tricky thing where i think -- in the case of china, it is pretty clear the direction of growth has been towards having the government have a smaller role, not larger. >> if we look ahead, there are three critical challenges that china will face to sustain this. one is shifting the balance from investing in infrastructure to supporting its citizens and consumer protections and think that will cause consumption to grow. second, the trade-off between investing and supporting the state owned enterprises versus creating a level playing field that will support entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises, large companies to grow and succeed. third is taking on the sustainability challenge. this urbanization will create challenges in terms of pollution, as we have seen easily in terms of infrastructure required to support it or it >> in each
case, the plan put forward by the 18th party congress takes it on and put forward a path that pushes towards reform and moving in the direction and support of strengthening consumption. supporting a level playing field and the rule of law. dealing with sustainability. we know they are tough trade- offs to go from what is on paper to reality. the challenge in the years ahead is to make that a reality. >> there is one mark question. there are so many requirements for the government to fill, as president lee -- still one question to be clarified. the government is the player for reform. the government is actually to be reformed by itself. major surgery to be done. my question is that -- how could government do the surgery to itself and by itself? >> this actually happened in the
past. a process of reform. in 1978, the party was led to make a decision to actually -- for china to get back on the road to reform. that is something china has to do. it is indispensable. that makes us think about the 10 years counterrevolution. it has really pushed china to the verge of collapsing. at that time, china had to reform. but now, life is much better for china. it is difficult for the government to really make the decision to reform. it is difficult for the government to have the political will to reform. the government does have to understand, this round of reform is going to be different from
the past reforms of china. it has to have the involvement of the chinese people. the ruling party has two evolve into the debate of chinese reform. we can only depend on the ruling party to actually really make breakthroughs to rake the stakeholders landscape. it has to rely on the public. if the government really wants to reform. number one, we have to give freedom to the press and the media. that is the most direct channel for the people's voice to get through. you can't regulate the media. you have to deregulation media. by doing that, i am convinced
this ruling party is serious about the reform. otherwise, it is just a lipservice. it has been lipservice for many years. even after each party congress, the 1960's, the 1970's, we are always confident. i have experienced many things. >> please, stop talking. do something. the crisis is different from the crisis. we have a sense of crisis right now, not the hindsight. is there any sense of races of the government that it has to reform question mark >> of course, yes. the 18th party congress has stated very clearly that the chinese communist party is
persistent in deepening the reform. of course, it is based on a thorough analysis. something has to be done. just now, he mentioned one thing that i totally agree with. we have to involve the people in the process of reform. talking about the political system of china, ruled by the chinese communist party and the people are what makes a party. it is supported by the judicial system. chinese reform is more about the including socialism. socialism, of course, it will need the party to normalize the people to raise opinions.
it will transform advisers into actionable items of reform, formalized by law. we fully agree that her dissipation is a very important feature in the next round of chinese reform. very important signal. we have talked a lot. we would like to leave the rest of the time to the audience. your turn to question. this is aight now, live broadcast program. we hope those people who like to raise questions, please, two lines. one on the right, one on the left. please identify yourself before you raise the question.
address the question to the person you want to respond. >> edith from the associated press. i would like to ask the other panel members how realistic they think it is that we can see real freedom of expression in the media in china in the next few years. >certainly would like to ask mr. lee and mr. moa. alex would like to chime in, that is fine. >> president lee, go ahead. >> guarantee the freedom of the
media, the press -- this is the common goal of the administration. this is an issue remaining to be solved. the party is the ruling party. there are other parties involved. we need to make -- minimize our mistakes. we need to be supervised by different parties, including the so-called supervision for the people from the other parties. including the supervision provided by the media. you may have already seen the social media is actually strengthening their supervision of the chinese officials. this is a very good thing, actually. anything to add?
>> yes. something to add. my feeling for the recent years is that, right now we have new media coming up. the new media, either for the government or for society, including their supervision -- for the banking sector, it is really getting more powerful and stronger. this makes me a little bit, under pressure. we have to improve our service. we always take media's opinion very seriously. we use it to improve ourselves. of course, we need to have serious communication with the media in order to get an understanding. >> imagine the evolution of the united states, or many other
countries, without the role of the media in fighting corruption. it plays absolutely an essential role. fear of the media and how it will fight corruption. i would also say, coming from a university, having free communication, really free communication among academics is essential. it is hard to have a heavy hand over the internet and still have a very high level of research and be at the top level. i think you cannot compete at the top level without a pretty free internet. >> thank you. any other questions? >> a question for mr. lee. party school is instrumental in training and developing chinese
leaders. as you see the many generation students coming into the party school, do you see any differences? do you see the newer generation of students it to the party school more daring in their desire and ideas in pushing for political reform? >> hesitantly, a question for you again. >> i would like to introduce the party school to you. so that you could have a better understanding of the school. this is to demystify the party school of china. the party school is the training institution of the highest
educational institution for the top level party leaders. at the same time, the party school also serves as a research institute and think tank for philosophies and social sciences. the party school will -- was established in 1933. it celebrated its 85th earth day -- 80th birthday. we have trained a lot of qualified leaders. talking about leaders and the students, the change has happened from one generation to another. i really have a lot to say. at the beginning of chinese reform opening up, that generation, the students come to
the school to -- for what? for basic knowledge. for academics. for example, because those people, they have not got the opportunity to receive college education. it is 10 years of blank space. several years ago, the party school held a training class for the new leaders. 80% of them are actually having postgraduate degrees. right now, there are more -- a better education and background for the latest generation. they are more capable. obligated issues i have to say,
remain to be solved. academically they are very good . theoretically they are very good. but they need to have experiences of dealing with consultative issues. the priority of training to them is to race them -- educate them about the communist party as well as be ready to expose them to a more international viewpoint. >> any other questions? we still have some minutes left. >> j from the times. i wanted to ask about the chinese financial systems. do you think there is a crisis
that is may be masked by government support, and how you would get out of battery from the system? >> whoever wants to answer. >> after 30 years of reform and opening up in china, i believe government's regulation of the financial industry is different from in the past. finance for any country, there are certain federal regulation. there is compliance requirements for the financial institutions. for example, market access, market operations. this is a common practice, especially for those with savings and deposit.
besides that, the banks are free to develop based on their own business strategies. even from the five major state- owned companies. in 2008 financial crisis, this originated from -- we have learned the lessons. >> talking about financial regulation of china, i think it is getting more and more micro. it is getting more into the ssi. i have shocked to a lot of chinese ssi. they always complain to me that china's government is actually regulating them too much. business issues that have to be approved by the government.
they really do not believe in the risk of power to ssi. for banks or whatever. how can you really trust them to develop the industry? a government hand is everywhere. in the chinese ssi's. talking about president, trying to manage the banks -- ok. a lot of time we always talk about the chinese cd rc. we want to establish china's republic back. >> they require all banks to operate exactly the same way. that is simply not possible, is it? they want one size to fit all.
ask it is clear that the financial system has a heavy hand from the government. it is a big part of the government. you talk about crisis, it is an evolution of the transition to be more market oriented and reducing the redistribution that take life through the financial system -- takes place through the financial system. a huge tax on individuals who cannot hold a higher assets in the fast-growing economy. obviously, a lot of erected lending. the financial system is one of the two big issues i hope the government continues to tackle. >> the regulatory environment goes hand in hand with strengthening the institutions. there is not a crisis today, but the desire to continue to open up and deregulate and create more opportunities for individuals and companies to access capital goes along with strengthening the companies themselves.
>> i want to thank our distinguished analysts. -- panelists. [applause]for our live audience, thank you for your attention and questions. i hope you enjoyed the program. >> in a few moments, secretary sibelius discusses the healthcare agenda agenda. on "washington journal quote quote -- "washington journal".
>> several live event today. a hearing on immigration policy and how laws have been enforced. that is on c-span3@10:15 a.m. eastern. at 1:00 p.m., eric cantor of virginia will meet with the american enterprise institute about how congress can better serve its and to to its -- its constituents. >> julia loved her time in the white house. she said in her memoir, it was like a bright and beautiful dream. white, the most wonderful time of my life. i think that gives you some idea of how much she enjoyed being first lady and how she felt that her husband had finally achieved the recognition he deserved. >> historian edith mayo about the wife of ulysses s. grant.
first ladies, influence and image. their public and private lives, interests, and influence on the president. season one begins president's bay february 18,@9:00 p.m. eastern and pacific on c-span, radio, and >> now, house and human services secretary kathleen sibelius on implementing a new healthcare law. after her remarks, a discussion of information technology. this hour and a half event is part of a conference hosted by academy health. >> good morning. i am lisa simpson. it is my pleasure to welcome you to the 13th annual national health policy conference. as you know, this conference provides a critical first look at the year ahead in health holiday. what a year we are likely to
have, after a historic supreme court decision last year and an election, we have a lot of work ahead of us. as you know, healthcare systems and governments at all levels are grappling with the implementation of the affordable care act. you will hear many perspectives in the next 1.5 days. healthcare costs are dominating the discourse. we are worried that many -- who many may not have the evidence and energy to tackle some of the tough issues confronting us. in spite of this, we are able to bring together a great crowd of over 700 folks, policymakers , public and private sector actors, and nonprofit together to talk about these tough issues. we have been doing this for 13 years. thank you for joining us. this year's agenda will allow us to conduct the conversation that many of us have been having. whether they are health
insurance exchanges, state health policy, health information technology, and the status of our safety net. this year, we are also bringing some new topics. like the growing focus on mobile health applications and their contributions to solving some of our health issues. we are also focusing on the increasing importance of decision-making. payment models and employers are going to tell us about what they are doing to them -- doing to promote productivity and restraint cost. if you look at the agenda we have a wonderful session and truly respected beakers. i am delighted to start this year's conference by introducing the first figure, in sibelius. secretary sibelius was sworn in as the 21st secretary of the department of health and human services on april 28, 2009. since taking office, she has
led ambitious efforts to improve america's health and enhance the delivery of services, particularly to some of the most phone verbal population. children, those with disabilities, and the elderly. as part of the historic affordable care act, secretary sibelius's implement reforms which will fundamentally alter the health insurance market place and help 34 million uninsured americans gain coverage. under the law, she is also carrying out a new and strong focus on wellness and prevention. supporting the adoption of electronic health records and health information exchange and helping to recruit and train more chimeric care providers. before her cabinet appointment, she served as governor of kansas, as the kansas insurance commissioner, and in the kansas house of representatives. we think that public life is in her blood. she is the daughter of john gilligan, the former governor of ohio. secretary sibelius. [applause] good morning.
i am delighted to start off a new week with all of you and glad to have you in washington at this incredibly important time. i want to thank lisa for her leadership of the academy of health. also, for her long service to healthcare. she is an alumni of hhs, she spent a considerable amount of time at our agency for research and quality. as well as work in the private health system. it is my pleasure to be with you again. i do not think there is any question that health researchers play an absolutely invaluable role in our efforts to build a more effective health care system. we have to know what we are doing.
we have to be able to what we are doing. we have to see if it is working. you are the ones who tell us where the need is greatest. which approaches are actually working. when we need to go back to the drawing board. the foundation of a 21st-century health system that actually works in this country has got to be the evidence base that you are in the process of assembling. i know you're going to hear from a variety of hhs leaders, and after this panel, dr. farzad will be speaking. i want to spend just a minute acknowledging a leader who has done so much to advance health services research over the past few decades. as some of you know, dr. carolyn clancy has announced she will be leaving our department after 23 years. including the last 10 as the director.
carolyn's record of accomplishments speaks for itself. she ran art at a time that its profile had never been higher, and the demand for its insight has never been greater. under her leadership, we produced our first ever annual reports on quality, safety, and disparities. finally giving us the important benchmarks we've used to track our progress. research funded by this has led to significant improvements in health outcomes, and areas like health associated infection. carolyn has generously agreed to stay on until he find someone to fill her position. i can guarantee you that will not be easy. today, i want to say, on behalf of the department and millions of americans benefiting from better, safer care, how grateful we are former the service. thank you, caroline. [applause]
the last time i spoke to this conference was in 2010. a few weeks before the passage of the affordable care act. when i look back, that seems like a very long time ago. the law has done a couple of things. when it comes to health insurance, consumers now have the strongest set of protections in history. already more than 3 million young americans have gained coverage through their parent plans. preventive care is free for tens of millions of americans. seniors with the highest drug cost are already getting big savings on their prescriptions. at the same time, i like to tell people that this is sort of like synchronized swimming, there is a lot of focus on the bathing caps. underneath that water, there is a lot going on.
not enough people are paying attention to that. we are beginning to see a remarkable transformation in the healthcare delivery system. numeral's of care are proliferating. -- new models of care are proliferating. that means, as many as 4 million medicare beneficiaries now get their care from providers whose bottom line is working to keep them healthy. these new models are spreading rapidly in the private market. in response to the changes and new incentives, healthcare providers are embracing new data tools that make it easier to improve care and share information between providers and patients. the use of basic electronic health records has doubled since 2008 are.
an 80% of hospitals have committed to being users of electronic records by 2013. this is an area that has been talked about for decades in this country. very little had changed until recently. this is a huge step forward. most importantly, the changes are translating into real improvements in people's lives. hospital admissions in medicare have dropped. 25% or more in some communities. we have had three years in a row of historically low growth in healthcare costs. while we cannot contribute the drop entirely to the law, it is undoubtedly a positive sign. the affordable care act, as lisa said, with the supreme court and now the election, is the law of the land. it is here to stay. it is beginning to show great promise. the wheels of progress in american healthcare are turning.
the have only just begun to see the difference this law can make. in the coming months and years, we will have a huge opportunity to speed up the transformation of healthcare. -- in a way that will truly benefit all americans. we will need the continued effort of earners across the healthcare system and around the country to achieve the law's full potential. it starts with coverage expansion. tens of millions of americans are still outside of the payment system. as you know, new marketplaces are being put together in every state in the country. that will make affordable coverage available to millions of americans, beginning january 1, 2014. in addition to state legislators throughout the country, there is a debate under way about expansion of medicaid programs. for people without insurance, the benefits of coverage are huge.
they are likely to get preventive care and checkups. they do not have to weigh the cost of going to the emergency room and their five-year-old wakes up with a fever. there is no risk of losing everything you have if someone gets seriously ill and runs up a big hospital bill. the truth is, when friends and neighbors can afford the healthcare they need, it is not just good for them. it is good for all of us. we all benefit when our premiums are no longer inflated with tens of billions of dollars in added costs for uncomplicated care. we all benefit when workers can spend more time on the job and kids can spend more time in school. one reason we need influential voices like yours to make these points is that several states right now are still weighing the decision about whether to expand their medicaid program. decisions that will affect whether millions of americans get coverage.
the snapshot is that states are being offered an incredible deal. i say that as a former governor who would have loved to have this deal at any time for the federal government. if they expand their medicaid programs to serve adult making up to $1200 a month and families making up to $2500 a month, then the federal government picks up 100% of the bill for the first three years. cried julie, that share is reduced. the lowest level at -- gradually that share is reduced. there has never been a partnership that looks anything like this. it is an opportunity to provide insurance coverage for some of the lowest income americans throughout the country. for picking up a tiny fraction of the tab, states can dramatically expand coverage for working families. they can help increase
productivity, save lives, and reduce the burden of uncompensated care. it is as good a deal as any state is going to get. i would love your help in getting the facts into the debate. merely expanding access to health insurance is not enough. unless people know that affordable coverage is available to them and i must they know how to get it, they are likely to remain outside the health system looking in. that means we have a huge job over the next year. we have to reach out to millions of americans, who, in many cases have not spent a lot of time in the health insurance market or thinking about health insurance. some of the people believe that affordable health insurance is just out of reach. they are so used to exorbitant premiums and insurance companies jerking them around, they have understandably come to believe that coverage for themselves and their families is never going to be an option. others are young people.
if you have children in their 20's like i do, you know that health insurance may not be their top priority. sometimes i wonder what their top priority is. [laughter]i can pretty well guarantee it is not health insurance. we know that a lot of those young people take the biggest risk when they go without coverage. they are less likely to have the resources they need to cover care out-of-pocket. fulfill theng to full full promise of the affordable care act and in short millions more americans, we need to reach these people. we need your help to do that. part of it is educating people about the new marketplaces. they need to know there is a whole new way to shop for health insurance. they will be able to submit a single application to find all the plans that fit their budget. discrimination against pre- existing conditions will be a lot. there'll be -- outlawed.
there'll be tax credits for the bill newly eligible, so that working families can save money on their coverage right away. we have a website up and running,, which has updated information about what is coming and what to think about. we are beginning to collect names to send people update. it is a strategy that is going to take a lot of outreach and effort. everyone can play a role in educating americans about the new coverage operant -- options that are coming. if you are a healthcare provider, you can start talking to your patients. if you are here as a state or local official, you can share information with people who seek out government services. if you are one of the policy analysts in this room, you can help identify better ways to locate uninsured and move and motivate them to purchase coverage. if you are a researcher, you can help ensure that once people get
coverage, they get the care they need. especially critical, preventive services. many in this room have been arguing for decades that making health coverage affordable to all americans is one of the best investments we can make as a nation. now we finally have the chance to make that happen. we need to do everything we can to make the most of it. as a said before, those are the bathing caps. the coverage expansion is not the only part of the lot that is kicking into gear over the next year. in the years before the health law were passed, costs continue to rise at an unsustainable rate. america continues to spend significantly more, about 1.5 times as much as any nation on earth, on per capita health care. we live shorter lives and die sicker than many of our neighbors and competitors.
we often hear people talk about the rising costs of medicare and medicaid. it is important to remember that that is not a unique characteristic of government health programs. medicare and medicaid grow more slowly than private insurance. the driver of a lot of this cost increase is the underlying cost of care. but with equal pressure on family ledgers, on corporate balance sheets, on local state and federal budgets. even though medicare is not a driver in the problem, we know it can be part of the solution. history shows that innovations in how we pay for care often begin for medicare and then spread to the private insurance industry. a critical part of the affordable care act are the new payment models our department is rolling out to help health organizations change the way they are delivering care. some of our early results are
missing. for the first time ever, we have our own research and developing unit in centers for medicaid innovation. we can test a variety of models simultaneously and try to accelerate their adoption around the country. we have already seen impressive results in our efforts to reduce healthcare infections. we have seen a drop in hospital readmissions. those are two areas we targeted for low hanging fruit, to see if we could make a real dent. in our strong start initiative, some participating hospitals are reporting that they have reduced their early elective deliveries to close to zero. what that translates into is few at-risk newborns and fewer admissions to the mix you -- nic
u. for all those snapshots, change is not happening nearly fast enough. far too many patients still experience a health care system that is fragmented, unreliable, and often prohibitively expensive. far too many providers are willing to sit back and let others blaze the trail to a 20th century health care system. my challenge to all of you is -- especially to the provider community, help us speed up the rate of change. if you are already at the vanguard of transforming care, now is the time to take the next step forward. if you had been considering participating in new care models, now is the time to take the plunge. if you have been waiting on the sidelines to see how this is going to shake out, now is the time to get in the game. health service researchers --
excuse me, and policy analysts have a huge role to play. or years, you have helped us identify our healthcare system biggest problems. and helped evaluate solutions. too often -- [dog barking] sounds like somebody caught in the system. too often those results have come and a 200 page report five years after the study was launched. we cannot any longer wait five years to find out what qualities make a successful aco. we need that information in real-time and be able to drive it in real-time so we can use use it to shape policy to have the biggest impact on people's lives are. the transformation i am talking about today will not happen overnight. when this conference convenes next february, there will still
be uninsured americans that we need to cover. there was still the rising costs we need to control and models of care we need evaluated. we have a rare opportunity over the next year to make huge strides, working together in transforming our health care system. if we can take advantage of that opportunity, the path for american people and better care, better health and lower cost will be enormous. thank you all for what you are doing. have a great conference. [applause] >> thank you secretary sibelius. i would like to introduce the next panel by starting with its moderator, dr. david blumenthal, president and ceo of the commonwealth fund. he is no stranger to washington.
he is a health services researcher and a national authority on health it adoption. prior to joining the commonwealth fund, he served as the chief health information and innovation officer at partners health system in boston, and was the samuel o s officer of medicine. -- professor of medicine at massachusetts general hospital and harvard medical school in 2009 to 2011. he was the national coordinator for health information technology under president barack obama. he is charged with building a interoperable private health information system and supporting widespread use of health it. as some of you may know, he is also an active member of academy health and the former chair of our organization. today, the dr. and his panel, which he will introduce, are talking about life after high- tech. health it policy 2.0.
hopefully provide a glimpse of what the future will be. these join us on the stage with your panelist. -- panelists. re >> good morning, everybody. thank you, lisa. it was great to hear secretary sibelius. i am sure you will enjoy this panel. it is a supremely qualified panel. i think we are missing one of our members who e-mailed us, just a moment ago, saying that
she was -- that sound you may have heard off to the side, that was the metro, stuck somewhere with christine on it. she promises to be here, if humanly possible. let me introduce the other members. first, my friend and successor as the oxford national coordinator, dr. farzad. coordinator for health information technology. before that, he was a pioneer in promoting the adoption of electronic health records among physicians sobering low incomes -- serving low income americans. he is a trained in turn asked and the public health -- and a public health specialist. paul, a board certified
internist and a chief innovation and technology officer and -- in california. he also served during my tenure and since then at the oxford national coordinator as a member and is now vice chair of the federal health and permission technology policy council and committee, which was established by the congress to advise the oxford national coordinator. the third member of our panel, caught somewhere underground, is christine, the vice president of the national partnership for women and families. she is responsible for strategic direction and oversight of the organization's multifaceted work. she is also a member of the federal health it policy committee, pioneering work on the role of consumers, with
respect to health technology and technology generally. i think the way we will proceed, though we are one short, we will proceed by my posing some questions, and letting the panel react for a. of time -- for a period of time. and we will invite you to ask your estrin. -- ask your questions. there has been a discussion of the health information technology policy. what i would like to do is start with a general question. i would like them each to comment on it. to kind of give their sense of where we stand right now with respect to the implementation of high-tech and respect to the health of our information technology policy agenda. obviously, christine i have
already introduced to you. i told them of your travails. i don't know if you escaped through an emergency exit. [laughter] the question on the agenda, i know that we have all heard this discussion, widespread discussion about where we stand right now with health information technology policy. one of the issues with fraud and abuse, what are the issues with payment. are we on target? are we missing the target? where do we stand? i think we will start with farzad. then paul, then christine. >> thank you. a pleasure to be on the panel and follow the secretary in speaking to you. i think the analogy the secretary made about synchronized swimming, and
activity underneath the bathing caps was a marvelous analogy to what is happening. the synchronization between the reforms that she talked about around how we pay for care, and the matching and synchronized activity that has to occur on the side of how care is delivered. you cannot just change how you pay for care and keep the same exact system in terms of delivering care that has been really optimized for a fee for service world. meaningful use of health information technology and the opportunity afforded to us in the high-tech act was to prepare the ground for new models of payment. let's assume that a provider might actually need to know of all their patients, how many of them are not getting the right care? let's assume that area and because you can't assume that today.
when i was helping practices in new york city a dropped electronic health records, i would talk to them about these wonderful things you could now make a list of your patients and find out who did not get the right care. who did not come back to seo. -- see you. they looked at me blankly like, why would i need to know that? in a way, it is a transition phase that we find ourselves in preparing this infrastructure for the new models of paying for care and delivering care. in that, i believe we have been successful. early on, when we put the vision of what implementation of high- tech was going to look like, we said it would proceed in stages. there will initially be a collection of and structuring of data. you all understand the power of data and information. part two will be advanced care
processes. redesigning so we are not just paving the cow patch, redesigning these tools. in the third phase, which could be six years in a typical practice, then we would begin to see the outcomes that we are very much focused on. i think on that, we are hitting the milestones. as the secretary mentioned, the adoption of electronic health records doubled in more. more importantly, we don't just have more people having bought an electric health record system, they are using them in ways that they never did he for. -- before. information exchange is a huge challenge. this is a step up in terms of that. we have to work hard to realign the potential of stage two.
we are seeing the embrace of the fact that we do need to change. i think that has been, in many ways, what has held us back was the belief that health care can't change and nobody is challenging that now. everybody recognizes healthcare challenge -- healthcare must change. >> paul, do you want to add a comment question mark >> his people recall that the high-tech provision came in a year before aca. that was telling of what would,. we have never lost track that high-tech was all about reforming the health system. it was a year ahead or it it should have been two or three years ahead. in david blumenthal's study before high-tech, only three percent of physicians had a
comprehensive information system. not even meeting the meaningful use criteria as it is now. now two thirds of hospitals, we are really on track. there is a tremendous uptick in this technology. also the way people are using the technology. a couple thoughts come to mind in terms of some of the talk about town on the program. first of all, the implementation and benefits -- speaking as one who has done this a few times. it is way too early in a two- year-old program and high-tech for meaningful use to consider if the game is being one or not. 0-- won or not. it is preparing providers to deliver better care and measure what we do. as an example, the country norm
was delivering about 50% of what we know to be good medicine. 50% of diabetics are controlled at less than seven percent. my organization, two thirds are controlled. hypertension, same kind of stats. about half of the country of hypertensive patients are controlled. where i practice, it is about three quarters. the reason is, we could not have achieved those kind of things without an easy hr -- ehr. we certainly would not be able to receive of reform without an ehr. it was necessary and in terms of how we transform ourselves and the care team and how involved patients, we cannot do it without them. >> christine, do you want to add anything from the